CSSA Program Competencies

CSSA Program Competencies
All students who complete a master’s degree in the College Student Services Administration program must show evidence of their competency in the following eight areas. (“Competency” is defined as being properly qualified and demonstrating proficient skills to successfully function in the student affairs field.) Evidence of these competencies will be demonstrated through a variety of experiences and in a variety of methods, culminating in a comprehensive capstone experience.

1) Knowledge of Higher Education and Student Affairs
Graduates should be able to demonstrate their understanding of the role of student affairs in higher education by being able to articulate current and past issues shaping the field and the implications these issues have on students’ lives. In meeting this competency, students should demonstrate their knowledge of…

  • a) The historical and philosophical underpinnings of student affairs;
  • b) The primary challenges and opportunities being presented to student
    affairs professionals;
  • c) Standards of good practice in student affairs and ethical responsibilities
    of the student affairs professional; and
  • d) Goals, trends, and key issues related to the future of the student
    affairs profession.

2) Student Development in Higher Education
Graduates should be able to demonstrate their understanding of student
populations and sub-cultures within varied higher education settings. In
meeting this competency, students should demonstrate their knowledge
of. . .

  • a) Transitional issues faced by students before and after their tenure
    in higher education settings;
  • b) The various and changing needs, goals, affinities of students within
    varied higher education settings (i.e. community college, private,
    public, etc);
  • c) The diversity of student populations including, but not limited to,
    age, socioeconomic status, gender, race and ethnicity, language, nationality,
    religion or spirituality, sexual orientation, ability, and preparedness;
    and
  • d) Theories related to student development and potential practical applications.

3) Organization, Leadership, and Administration of Student Affairs
Graduates should be able to demonstrate their understanding of higher
education/ student affairs administration and those aspects related to the
design, delivery, and organization of student affairs in college and university
settings. In meeting this competency, students should demonstrate their experience
with/knowledge of. . .

  • a) Fiscal resources, budget development and management in supporting
    student affairs programs or services;
  • b) Human resource/personnel management, including hiring, supervising,
    and evaluating employee performance;
  • c) Organizational structure, dynamics, and leadership; and
  • d) Legal issues critical in guiding and influencing practice.

4) Assessment and Evaluation
Graduates should be able to demonstrate their understanding of and ability
to employ good practices that focus on the effectiveness of student affairs
programs and services. In meeting this competency, students should demonstrate
their experience with/ability to. . .

  • a) Design and implement thorough assessment efforts including the identification
    of new key questions, resources, and target populations;
  • b) Create instruments and/or protocols for assessing important questions;
    and
  • c) Credibly convey key findings and recommendations to stakeholders and
    constituents.

5) Program Planning
Graduates should be able to demonstrate their understanding of and ability
to design and execute high quality programs (i.e. seminars, workshops,
trainings or other similar experiences that are meant to facilitate development
and learning that are thoughtful, engaging, and learner-centered). In meeting
this competency, students should demonstrate their experience with/ability
to. . .

  • a) Design original programs including the identification of resources,
    needs, and goals;
  • b) Market programs appropriately;
  • c) Facilitate the implementation of programs; and
  • d) Evaluate the effectiveness of programs in meeting desired goals and
    outcomes.

6) Teaching/Presentation/Publication
Graduates should be able to demonstrate their ability to disseminate scholarly
work through public forums. In meeting this competency,
students should demonstrate their experience with/ability to. . .

  • a) Develop and share ideas and concepts to students, staff, or faculty
    groups outside of the CSSA classroom;
  • b) Incorporate original and innovative techniques that are appropriate
    and engaging in sharing these ideas; and
  • c) Reflect on the experience and make constructive changes and improvements.

7) Individual, Group, and Organizational Communication
Graduates should be able to demonstrate effective interpersonal communication
skills with students and colleagues and their ability to
develop and maintain effective partnerships with individuals from the campus
and local community. In meeting this competency, students should demonstrate
their experience with/ability to. . .

  • a) Positively manage, develop, and engage in working relationships with
    faculty, staff, and students across functional and institutional boundaries;
  • b) Initiate and participate in working alliances and teams with a wide
    range of people across cultural boundaries;
  • c) Take on key leadership roles though these partnerships and collaborations;
  • d) Serve as advocate, counselor, and/or advisor to students or student
    groups; and
  • e) Manage and/or mediate conflict, crisis, or problematic circumstances.

8) The Developing Professional
Graduates should be able to demonstrate their ability to carefully examine
and challenge their own personal and professional values, worldviews, assumptions
and biases. In meeting this competency, students should demonstrate their
experience with/ability to. . .

  • a) Seek out a comprehensive and well-rounded graduate and professional
    experience;
  • b) Develop an understanding of the value of community involvement and
    participation beyond the OSU campus;
  • c) Reflect on graduate, professional, and personal development experiences
    toward greater self-understanding;
  • d) Examine and question their “fit” within profession by
    clearly articulating personal strengths and potential contributions to
    the field; and
  • e) Engage in thoughtful career planning and decision making exercises.

9) Multicultural awareness, knowledge and skills
Graduates of the CSSA Program should be able to demonstrate multicultural
awareness, knowledge and skills. In meeting this competency, students should
demonstrate their

  • a. Awareness of their own cultural heritage and how it affects their worldviews,
    values, and assumptions.
  • b. Knowledge of systems of privilege and oppression as well as knowledge
    of groups and individuals who are different from self.
  • c. Skills to challenge and support individuals in a manner that maximizes
    multiculturally sensitive and develop appropriate interventions, rooted
    in multicultural awareness and knowledge, that influence the organizational
    performance.
  • d. Ability to identify areas of personal growth and develop a lifelong
    commitment to improving one’s own multicultural competence.